Book of the week : Wednesday's Child

8th April 2004 at 01:00

Wednesday's Child
By Eloise Millar
Virago pound;10.99

The vast Blackbird Leys housing estate on the edge of Oxford is a sea of social problems. Visit it as an outsider and you find yourself tut-tutting about drink and drugs, truancy and underachievement. Visit the same estate through the eyes of writer Eloise Millar and you get the inside story.

The family Millar writes about, in this her first novel, is as dysfunctional as they come. Mum chain-smokes, coughs and cooks chips. Aunty Net is a chronic alcoholic. Eleven-year-old James is heading for trouble. His father, Dick Roberts - he never earns the title of "Dad" - is a violent bully who knocks everybody about. The book's heroine, eight-year-old Janny, knows that Tuesdays in the family are "speechless, silent and claustrophobic - like a brewing storm of pent-up accusations" - but Wednesdays, when Dick Roberts is tired from long shifts at the local car plant, are when faces get thumped and people get dragged about by the hair.nbsp;nbsp;

Read more in this week's TES

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today